How LA’s Man Man Band Unintentionally Made the Soundtrack of the Pandemic
When I first heard about this band...I was like really they go by “Man Man?” After some research and my business partner Sarah Flora (aka Flora Brewing on Instagram & YouTube) informed me about her favorite band’s electrifying performance and grandiose storytelling, I had to see them for myself. Sarah and I headed to the Hi Hat music venue (now closed due to the pandemic) in Highland Park to see lead singer Honus Honus and his band Man Man, originally from Philadelphia and now based in Los Angeles. We even brought him a beer that Sarah homebrewed called Satan’s Water, a triple IPA at 10.8% ABV. Yes, you’re reading that right. We chatted for a bit and then I witnessed first-hand why this was quite the unique live show as Honus describes as a “cathartic ouija board.” It was kinda like that and a rock opera combined. And given my anxious behavior, I was actually highly engaged from the explosion of energy, instruments, people on stage and just the very real earthiness of Honus belting out lyrics like “hold on to your heart, even when your body is bitter” which honestly resonated so well now even though this song was released 7 years earlier. Yes, seven years ago. And here we are. This past year, Man Man released a record after all these seven years. A record that ironically became the soundtrack to the pandemic, unintentionally. The record titled ‘Dream Hunting in the Valley of the In-Between,’ encompasses isolation, heartbreak and how to move forward. I don’t know about you but all of that sums up the roller coaster of emotions that is 2020.
Honus says, “The album was ready & just in time for a historical pandemic that derailed everything!”
He wrote most of the album in a little writing space / converted garage in Atwater Village close by to G-Son Studios where Beastie Boys used to record. And for all of you worried about that Los Angeles air affecting his songwriting process, he says “The smog has definitely damaged my brain.” Damaged or enhanced creativity, I guess to each their own? I’m kidding.
In terms of what’s next for Honus Honus, he says, "[I’m] working on another Man Man album (sigh, already?!), a long form graphic novel, polishing up three episodes for a neo-noir LA detective show I’ll probably never be able to sell, writing another feature script to be in, and working on convincing Nick Thorburn (Islands, Mister Heavenly, Unicorns) to draw a companion piece book for a kid’s album Cyrus and I wrote over a million years ago. Also, just being a stay at home dad during this latest bout of pandemic. Sigh.”
Well that all sounds good to me, we can’t wait another seven years for a new record that’s for sure...well I know Sarah definitely can’t.
When it comes to a beverage whether post show or after recording, I had to ask what his go-to was.
“Red wine & Old Fashioneds are kind of my go-tos lately. When I do crack a beer, I’ll usually drink a [half] Guinness and [half] Japanese beer. “
Well cheers to another chance to see Man Man band in Los Angeles or beyond. I will make sure Sarah and I will bring him a beverage inspired by all of the things mentioned above. Also, fun fact, Man Man created a jingle about beer for Sarah’s podcast “Brewing After Hours.”
Disclaimer: Ash Eliot also produces and edits the podcast Brewing After Hours with Sarah Flora.